There was a sound coming from the central square. A sound they’d never heard before, so smooth and soft, so beautiful. There was something in the tones, between the tones that made the world seem like a better place, the sky a bit bluer, the problems lighter to carry.
There was a man sitting there. He had a strange widget in his hand, a box with many strings and a bow, but it was not for hunting. They all stood and watched, listened, paralysed by the calm beauty in his melody. After a long time he stopped.
The world came back. The bad harvest, the accident last week. All the problems.
More! Said the blacksmith. Please, play more!
Yes, the others agreed. Please!
I’ll be back tomorrow, the man said. He disappeared around the corner and into the forest.
The next day they heard the music again, this time from outside the little village. They all walked like in a trance, following the soothing tunes.
He was moving now. Up and down, around in circles. The tones were happier, more cheerful. They stood and watched for a while. The fisherman started swinging from side to side, others joined in. They stayed and listened until night fell.
Please, dear sir, the Major said. Please continue!
But there was no more that night. The musician left.
The day after they waited. They listened, but they heard no music.
Where has he gone to? Will he ever be back?
The sun was going down.
He’s gone, said the blacksmith. He’s gone. He sat down on a big stone outside his house, his head in his hands.
Hush! Listen! The fisherman’s daughter held her hand to her ear, her head high.
A tone. A low, far away tone from somewhere deep into the forest. They followed the sound. Men, women, children, even dogs, chickens and cats. They walked and walked through the increasing darkness, hypnotized by the melody.
Look! Said the major. Lights!
The musician was sitting on a big rock in the centre of the opening. Several fires were lit. They had found him. They were so happy, so joyful. The blacksmith took the fisherman’s daughter’s hand, and they all danced. They danced all night, they sang, they laughed and they cheered. There were hugs and kisses, love and friendship.
When daylight broke, he stopped.
Thank you, dear public, he said. Farewell.
The next day and the days to come they listened. They walked into the forest, but no music could be heard. Those were sad days, even sadder than before he had arrived.
The blacksmith was standing in the his workshop clinging his hammer to a glowing piece of iron. The fisherman’s daughter looked up towards him.
She started humming a sound to the rhythm, a nice little melody by her pretty voice. The carpenter joined in, hitting his wooden hammer to a log, and his helper took the saw and a knife and slid them together. Soon others started clapping, and yet others humming different tones, lower, higher, up and down.
They danced happily around and all the village joined in. Once again their troubles were gone, once again they felt the joy of living. It wasn’t as smooth as the tunes of the violinist, not as melodic or soft, but it was fun. It was so much fun.